Gov. Beebe: Osceola turbine plant a 'win-win' for the state

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

NORTH EAST ARKANSAS (KAIT) --Thursday's major industrial announcement in Osceola about the construction of a new wind turbine parts plant will, according to Governor Mike Beebe have a large ripple affect across the state.

But in Region 8, will it be a unifier or divider?

Any community will rejoice with the prospect of a major or even a minor employer coming to town.

And they may complain when another city makes the capture.

Governor Beebe told me Thursday this is a win-win situation for all the state.

But, he says communities still need to compete to prosper as one. .

"Beckmann Volmer in Osceola is going to benefit Blytheville. it's going to benefit West Memphis, It's going to benefit Jonesboro. It's gonna benefit Little Rock, It's going to benefit Texarkana."

That of course reflects on the use of tax money coming in to the state coffers and spreading out over the state.

Looking at map of Northeast Arkansas you can see that the new plant can draw from a large area. Paragould, Blytheville, Jonesboro, Walnut Ridge and more, all these towns potentially can contribute.

So when do you start thinking regionally versus Just my city?

It's Tough...

Governor Beebe is a proponent of the "Big Picture".

For example; "The fact that Nordex is in Jonesboro I'm sure had some influence on Beckmann Volmer being here."

I asked Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin is it tough to watch another city make a big score like this one in Osceola?

Mayor Perrin, "You know the city of Jonesboro is what I have to think of on a day to day basis. But anytime any of our sister cities or communities like that is successful obviously we will have some of that success."

So what does Jonesboro do to embrace the "Big Picture"? Perrin says he starts with the Municipal league sharing ideas with local mayors.

On Friday when I spoke with him he had returned from a meeting with a mayor and Chamber of Commerce officials of another Northeast Arkansas town who were developing a marketing plan and wanted to look at Jonesboro's plan.

Perrin says the exchange of ideas and information keeps relationships good amongst these other towns. For one thing that's where they and Jonesboro draw their workforce from.

Perrin, "You look at our labor force and you take the number of jobs that people drive into Jonesboro for come from a lot of those cities."

And the traffic may flows both directions. But it's all part of building a region. One step at a time.

Governor Beebe, "If we can attract somebody to have an interest in our state. Then it's up to the local communities to set themselves apart from their competitors, their sister cites in order to be successful."

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